If you’ve been searching for a whippet online, you may have come across the term merle whippets.
These are some of the most beautiful whippets available with their unique and distinct colour coat, making them an attractive dog that is in high demand.
In this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about merle whippet to help you decide whether this is the right dog for you.
Let’s get to it…
What Is A Merle Whippet?
So what exactly is a merle whippet? Well, merle is a genetic pattern that can sometimes be in a dogs coat. It can be many different colours but often creates mottled patches of colour in a solid or piebald coat.
Often merle dogs can have blue or odd-coloured eyes too, and the merle gene can also affect the dog’s skin pigment making them much more susceptible to sunburn.
The merle gene comes in two variants: M (merle) and m (non-merle), with M (merle) being the more dominant.
Sadly the effects of the merle gene (M) is not strictly limited to the colour of the dog’s coat and can mean that merle whippets are more susceptible to impaired hearing and sight.
Particularly in dogs that are homozygous for M, meaning they carry two copies of the M gene.
Although merle whippets are breathtakingly stunning dogs, the gene does carry other risks associated with it as mentioned above.
As this colour coat is not naturally occurring in whippet, The Kennel Club Board has agreed that it will not accept the registration of any merle whippet.
Are Merle Whippets Rare?
Merle whippets are much less common than other coloured whippets, making them rare dogs. Although not quite as rare as the dun or white whippet, merle whippets are definitely up there with the rarest coloured whippets.
The reason for this is that the colour is not naturally occurring in whippets, so there needs to be a merle dog that is crossed with a whippet.
This means that it is not possible to have a purebred merle whippet. With the rising demand for whippets, unscrupulous breeders who are in it purely for profit are resorting to breeding merle into dogs that do not naturally have this coat colour, such as the whippet.
This is purely to drive the price of the whippet up, which makes them very expensive dogs and highly sought after.
If you do happen to come across a breeder who is advertising merle whippets, please beware that these are not purebred whippets and to do your due diligence on the breeder.
As mentioned above, many breeders are trying to create merle whippet puppies purely for a profit, so you’ll need to be extra careful when dealing with such breeders.
How Much Do Merle Whippets Cost?
So how much do merle whippets actually cost? Well because of their rarity they can be quite expensive. Especially if they’ve come from racing or working heritage.
Below I’ve listed some rough pricing of merle whippets, presuming that they are not from such backgrounds and are from a reputable breeder.
Merle Whippet Puppies
As you would expect, merle whippet puppies are going to cost you a hefty fee. Their unique colour and high demand mean a merle whippet puppy can cost you anywhere from £1500 – £5000.
This is more expensive than fawn whippets, blue whippets, and most other coloured whippets. Naturally, whippets are going to cost more than adult dogs because they are going to be alive longer and are more desirable.
These dogs are very few and far between, in fact, I’ve never personally seen a merle whippet in person and have been around the breed all my life.
You’ll also need to factor in the costs for a dog bed, pet insurance, and other accessories you may need for raising your merle whippet puppy.
Merle Adult Whippets
If you’re lucky enough to find an adult merle whippet, you’ll be glad to know that these come at a cheaper cost. Largely because they are less desirable than whippet puppies in general.
The average price for an adult merle whippet can be anywhere between £750 – £3000.
Adult merle whippets are amazing dogs and can make a better option for first-time dog owners as they are often easier to train.
The price is going to vary between breeders and the demand of the dogs at the time, but as you can see from the above pricing, merle whippets are some of the most expensive types of whippets out there.
Are Merle Whippets Bad To Breed?
Breeding merle whippets is heavily discouraged because this is not a natural coat colour for the breed.
Not only that, but the chance of the puppy being deaf, blind, or suffering from health complications is significantly increased because of the merle gene.
It’s incredibly hard to come by merle whippets breeders because of this, which is why I strongly advise doing a thorough background check on the breeder before going to see a merle whippet.
Merle whippets are incredibly rare, and merle whippet breeders are very few and far between. It’s not often you’ll see merle whippets advertised for sale, especially in the UK.
Do Merle Whippets Get Along With Other Pets?
As a whole, merle whippets get along great with other pets. The colour of their coat doesn’t affect their characteristics or traits, meaning you’ll have a loving, caring whippet that is fun for all of the family.
Whippets and other dogs get along just great, in fact, they can be an excellent choice for those with obese dogs to help get them in shape.
One aspect of the whippet breed you need to be aware of is their prey drive.
Whippets are known for being racing and hunting dogs, they have a very strong prey drive which means they’ll chase after animals such as cats, rabbits, hamsters, and other small “prey like” animals.
This could be a recipe for disaster if you introduce a whippet to a household that also has these pets in, so I strongly advise against a whippet if you own cats or any of the above pets.
That being said, whippets and cats have been known to get along with one another. But they need to be introduced when they are young and in a controlled setting.
Now that you know more about merle whippets than you did previously, let’s take a look at some other considerations you’ll need to bear in mind if you choose this dog for your next family pet.
Exercising A Merle Whippets
When it comes to exercise, whippets are incredibly active dogs. They love to take long walks with their owner and blow off their excess energy.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that whippets are incredibly fast dogs. In fact, whippets are the second fastest dog breed on the planet, second to only the larger cousin the greyhound.
You’ll need to provide your whippet with around 45 – 60 minutes of physical exercise per day. This gives them the chance to tire themselves out and stay mentally sharp.
Exercise is crucial for whippets, so if you are unable to provide your pet with daily activity and mental stimulation, this may not be the right breed for you.
Grooming A Merle Whippet
When it comes to grooming a merle whippet, you’ll be glad to know that they have short fur that is easy to maintain.
Depending on the amount of exercise and where you are walking your pup, the typical whippet will need grooming around 1 – 2 times per month.
Thankfully the merle gene doesn’t affect the thickness or toughness of your whippet’s coat, making these dogs easy to maintain and keep clean without hassle.
Living With A Merle Whippet
No matter the colour of your whippet, these are small dogs. They generally stand from between 45 – 56cm TTS (to the shoulder).
This makes them a great option for those that live in apartments or smaller houses with not a lot of space.
Whippets are very much indoor dogs, meaning they are not able to live outside in a kennel. They have short fur that doesn’t provide them much warmth from the outside weather.
Ensuring you have a warm and comfortable coat for your whippet is essential, especially in the colder months. You won’t need to worry about these dogs barking and causing trouble with your neighbours either.
Whippets rarely bark and only really do so if they are startled or they are alerting their owner of an intruder.
Merle Whippets And Children
One amazing perk of whippets is that they are great fun for all of the family. They get along great with kids and help tire them out ready for nap time.
Providing your children know how to live with a dog, and understand not to pull their tails or step on them, they’ll live together just fine and will build an unbreakable bond.
However, you’ll need to be careful when your whippet is off the leash and you have small children around.
Whippets can run at speeds of up to 35mph, so you’ll need to be sure that your children are out of harms way in case your whippet accidentally knocks them over.
Hopefully, after reading this post you now know a little more about merle whippets.
These dogs are some of the most beautiful out there, they are incredibly rare and often have unique coat patterns and sometimes different eye colours.
As mentioned above, always be careful when you see a merle whippet advertised and do your due diligence when it comes to the breeder.
Ensure that the dog is being looked after and has had all of their health and background checks before bringing the dog home.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!